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A proportionate mortality study of granite cutters.
Steenland K; Beaumont J
Am J Ind Med 1986; 9(2):189-201
Mortality was studied among granite cutters (SIC-3281) with exposure to large amounts of crystalline free silica (7631869). Death benefit records were obtained from the union representing the most granite cutters in the US. A proportionate mortality analysis was conducted using deaths among the US population for comparison. Excess mortality was observed for tuberculosis, non malignant respiratory diseases other than pneumonia, influenza and bronchitis, and for arthritis and spondylitis. For non malignant respiratory diseases, the majority of deaths were due to silicosis. There were 183 deaths observed in this category, compared to the 43.7 to be expected. Silicotuberculosis accounted for 75 percent of the tuberculosis deaths seen in the cohort. Silicosis and silicotuberculosis caused 337 of the 1,905 deaths in the cohort. Deaths from arteriosclerotic heart disease, stroke, diseases of the digestive system, diabetes, and accidents were decreased in the cohort. A significant excess was seen for bone cancer, at 6 observed versus 1.9 expected. For lung cancer there was a slight excess, the proportionate mortality ratio being 1.09, but this was not statistically significant. The proportionate mortality ratio for non malignant respiratory disease, in contrast, was 6.92; for tuberculosis it was 17.07 for workers with 20 years or more work experience. The authors conclude that there is a large excess of deaths due to silicosis and tuberculosis among granite cutters. The lack of a lung cancer excess, given the excesses of the other two conditions, is significant. There is some indication that those who were silicotic had an excess risk of lung cancer if the death certificate information was studied.
NIOSH-Author; Mortality-rates; Exposure-levels; Malignancy; Lung-cancer; Health-services; Occupational-hazards; Dust-exposure; Medical-research; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Industrial-environment; Workplace-studies; Author Keywords: epidemiology; occupation; silica; lung cancer
Kyle Steenland, Mailstop R-15, NIOSH, 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45226
Issue of Publication
American Journal of Industrial Medicine
Page last reviewed: September 22, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division